Encourage your child's creativity this upcoming Thanksgiving. Here are some favorite Thanksgiving activities for preschoolers and toddlers.
These kids' Thanksgiving activities are easy, quick, inexpensive to do, and LOADS of fun! Make your Thanksgiving memorable for the little ones with some of these must-try Thanksgiving activities for toddlers and preschoolers!
Some of these activities have a free printable PDF you can download so you don't have to search for paper turkeys in stores. You're welcome! And enjoy!
Our son is 3 and a half years old and these easy Thanksgiving activities are PERFECT for him - some are challenging and would be great for older preschoolers, some are too easy but still loads of fun and perfect for younger toddlers.
Give these activities a try and let me know which ones your family loved!!
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See my disclosure.
1. Pin the Feather on the Turkey Activity
Try this Thanksgiving twist to a classic birthday party game. All you need is construction paper in various colors to craft a Turkey, black marker for the eyes, and painter’s tape at the back of the feathers so that the kids can pin them to the Turkey.
You can make this turkey game yourself, or get the whole game ready to play for a whopping 6 dollars with free delivery. I'm a busy mom, I know which option I am choosing!!
Adults and kids ALL love this silly Thanksgiving game!
2. Nature Walk & Wreath Fall Activity for Toddlers
Spruce up your Thanksgiving décor with a homemade wreath that you made with your child after a nature walk activity!
Give each family member with one plastic bag and get them to collect twigs, bark, pinecones, and fallen leaves along your nature walk. Upon returning home, provide each family member with wreath forms (cut them out from cereal boxes) and tacky glue (it's a little sticker than regular school glue and better for gluing different textures, such as leaves).
Let your kids get creative with this easy fall craft!
Hey, you can even use my free scavenger hunt for toddlers printable to get started!
Can't get outside because the weather is just not cooperating?? Grab some fake leaves at a crafts store or here on Amazon and make the wreath with those!
Alternatively you can print some Fall leaves here (or click on the picture of leaves below - it will load a printable PDF) and cut them out (you will need TWO copies to make a decent-sized weath!), but this will take you foreverrrrr! Ask me how I know 😉
I recommend finding leaves outside or ordering some to save you the hassle.
3. Coloring-Book Tablecloth Activity
Kids would LOVE turning the Thanksgiving table into an art canvas - and will certainly keep themselves entertained throughout Thanksgiving dinner! Art paper or kraft paper (such as this large 4-foot wide roll) can be used as the tablecloth - either for the adult table or for the kids table!
I love the kraft roll idea because the brown color goes perfectly with all the Thanksgiving fall harvest colors!
Try drawing shapes or place settings on the paper to get your kids started, or just give them crayons or washable markers and let them decorate!
Alternatively, you can print a Thanksgiving-themed placemat and let your kids color and do little activities at the Thanksgiving table! I have a free printable Thanksgiving placemat you can download and print!
4. Feed the Turkey Activity
This Thanksgiving activity is great for toddlers and preschoolers to work on their math, counting, motor skills, patterns, color identification, and more! This activity requires an old jar and multi-colored fluffy craft balls / craft pom poms.
Simply print out a picture of a turkey and tape it to a jar (or to a quart-size takeout soup container if you don't want your child playing with a glass jar). Then let your child "feed" the turkey with craft pom poms. They can sort by color, line them up in patterns, or count them as they place them into the "turkey" jar.
You can download the PDF with this paper turkey here, so you can print it.
By the way, if you're new here, this blog is about helping toddlers overcoming picky eating, and this kind of activity is a GREAT way to have a positive food experience and show your little one that food is fun for EVERYONE (even turkeys like to be fed!).
Any positive experience with food is a great step in the right direction for overcoming picky eating.
5. Gratitude Turkey Pumpkin Activity
This activity is great to teach youngsters valuable lessons about having gratitude. All that’s needed for this activity is construction paper, a pumpkin, and wooden skewers.
Print or cut out a turkey body from construction paper, and glue it to a pumpkin, or simply draw a turkey face on a pumpkin. Cut the construction paper into several "feathers" - you can see an example here. Help your toddler or preschooler write down what they are grateful for on each feather.
Even if your child doesn't understand the concept of being thankful yet, you can still talk to them about it and give examples of things they are likely thankful for: a loving family, tasty food, snack time, fun toys, their stroller, the dog, hugs from grandma, etc.
If you don’t have skewers or a pumpkin on hand, transform this activity into a simple drawing or writing activity with the same idea in mind.
6. Stuff The Turkey Activity
For a unique activity with a few twists, have your child glue a turkey to a large paper bag. Tape the bag to the wall and have your kids drop small toys or craft balls into the bag to "stuff" the turkey!
See what kind of fun things they can try to put in there! Download the pdf to print this paper turkey.
7. Footprint Turkey Craft Activity
This is a classic activity with a twist - help your child make a footprint turkey on paper, and then glue craft feathers to the paper to make the turkey! See an example here.
8. Tail Feather Tag Activity
This fun activity requires a marker, clothespins, glue, a leaf or feathers, and googly eyes. Each player decorates their pin to look like a turkey (here are some awesome examples!!) and then gets the pin clipped onto the back of their shirt. Each family member will try to steal other’s clothespins without losing their own. The last person to still have a clothespin on their back wins the round.
Play as many rounds as needed to get your kids tired enough for a nap! And of course, make sure to let them win a few times. 🙂
And by the way, if you're looking for ways to tire your kids, here are 11 EASY activities for active toddlers to tire them out.
9. Edible Pumpkin Play Dough Activity
For a Thanksgiving activity that is both creative and safe to taste (don't encourage this! But an accidental lick is OK), this Edible Pumpkin Play Dough is a must try! Let the youngsters mold the play dough or use utensil and cookie cutters to make creations that are Thanksgiving-themed.
Place the remaining dough in a baggy or container, and keep it fresh by placing it in the refrigerator.
This is a GREAT sensory activity! If you are looking for more sensory activities and ideas, check out my whole sensory category.
10. Pumpkin Chuck Activity
Create a fun Thanksgiving-inspired tossing activity for the kids to enjoy. Simply wrap toilet paper rolls in orange felt or orange cray paper. Then toss the toilet paper "pumpkins" into baskets or bins!
This is a GREAT motor skills activity that's fun for the whole family, and you can adjust the difficulty (aka distance from the basket) for your child's age. Let the games begin!
11. Window Turkey Activity
This Window Turkey Activity will definitely be a hit with the kids - and it’s reusable! All you need to do is to get foam sheets and cut them up in different shapes. Then get the kids to paint the back of the foam shapes, using water, and stick them to the window in the form of a turkey.
Alternatively, the shapes can be used in the bathtub - here is our foam turkey on the bathroom wall:
12. Turkey Egg Hunt Activity
Use your remaining plastic eggs from last Easter and let the kids try this Turkey Egg Hunt activity. Add little treats inside the eggs, or little "dares" asking your kids to do silly things when they find the eggs. ("Run like a turkey!" or "make turkey sounds!" or "tell me your favorite Thanksgiving food!")
13. Turkey Bowling Activity
Get the your little ones to turn orange plastic cups into Turkeys using craft paper, googly eyes, and glue. Set the plastic cups like bowling pins or on top of each other in the shape of a pyramid and let the Thanksgiving bowling begin!
Want to print these little turkeys to tape to cups? Download the pdf to print it here.
Or have the kids stack up the cups into a pyramid for a great motor skills activity... and then they can knock it down!
14. Thankful Jar Activity
This is a great activity that can be played each year. Get your child to make and decorate a jar (here I have a fun Valentinte's Day Jar Decorating Craft, but it should give you an idea), then help him or her write down what they’re thankful for. Store the Thankful Jar somewhere safe, and next Thanksgiving bring the jar out and get the kids to read what they wrote for a fun trip down memory lane.
And while kids might not fully appreciate this activity, us mamas will LOVE looking back on this!!
15. Pumpkin Patch Stomp Activity
The whole family can join in on the fun with this Pumpkin Patch Stomp Activity. Get a pack of autumn-colored balloons and fill them with small wrapped candy or toys before blowing them up (only fill them up if your child can safely eat the candy and will NOT choke on the candy or toys!). Blow the balloons up and use them for decorations during Thanksgiving, then let the kids have fun making the adults wince from the popping noises!
I hope your family loves these Thanksgiving activities as much as we do!! Leave me a comment below or tag me on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK. and show me which activities you tried! You can find me at @highchairchronicles on both. I love hearing from you!
16. Bonus Fall activity! Make Fall slime!
Just a few common household ingredients and 5 minutes, and your child will be in slime heaven! Get the instructions for how to make Fall Slime.
Other holiday and fall toddler activities you will love:
- Free printable Thanksgiving placemat for toddlers
- Free printable Christmas sensory activity for young toddlers
- Free printable Christmas activity sheets
- Fall sponge painting sensory activity
- Orange fall-themed slime
- Halloween monster donuts
- Halloween monster popcorn
- Rudolph rice cakes
- Easy Christmas pretzels
- Valentine's day sponge painting
It's never too early to find the perfect gift for your little ones!
Make sure to SAVE this blog post on Pinterest using the share buttons below so you can come back to it next year, and so other moms can find these!